Published on:

Russian truckers on America’s roads

It’s interesting how handling a truck wreck case in Georgia can draw one into the culture, politics and economics of Eastern Europe. But a case in which a Croatian trucker hit an Atlanta motorist on I-285 did just that.

This week’s Time magazine includes an article for which I was interviewed, Trucking in the U.S.A.: Where the Accent is Russian. The article focuses on the language, cultural and legal challenges created by an influx of Russian truck drivers into the US.

The reporter had read my blog post about taking a deposition in Kansas City of that Croatian truck driver — through an interpreter — who was taught to drive a tractor trailer by “some Russian guy in North Carolina. He said his study of the CDL manual and rules was accomplished by having his 10-year-old daughter translate it for him.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, at 49 CFR 391.11, requires that in order to get a Commercial Driver’s License, an applicant must be able to “read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records.”

Ken Shigley, author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice, is a board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group, a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers . He practices law at the Atlanta law firm of Chambers, Aholt & Rickard, and has broad experience in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. He is also president-elect of the State Bar of Georgia. This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.